Category Archives: Tutoring At-Risk Students

Tutoring Out-of-School Youth Who Need to Improve Basic Skills

WIA-funded tutoring can help out-of-school youth learn basic skills needed for successful employment.

Older youth who have dropped out of school may be eligible for WIA-funded tutoring. These services must be approved through your local workforce development center. While you may not want to participate in remedial education, it will be required for you to do so if you do not have the necessary basic skills.

Importance of Grade-Level Proficiency

Youth who meet proficiency requirements for their grade level are better prepared to meet needs of employers. In many cases, these demands are pretty straightforward. You need to know how to read instructions, write notes or emails, and even have decent research skills. For most jobs, you need to be able to add, subtract, and calculate percentages without using a calculator. With WIA tutoring, you get tutoring in:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Math
  4. Science
  5. Social studies

Review of these subjects is intended to help prepare you to take and pass the GED exam. One goal of WIA is to help youth get a secondary education degree or certificate. For older youth, that means getting a General Education Development (GED) degree because they are too old to return to high school.

Benefits of Tutoring

Being academically proficient is only part of the story. Youth need to have additional skills to be attractive to prospective employers. These skills are often what make one applicant stand out from the others:

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management skills

Youth can learn these skills through intensive tutoring. Tutoring may take place in small groups or on an individual basis. All tutoring services are based on an initial academic assessment and resulting individual learning plan.

Why Tutors Make the Difference

Youth who are not eligible to participate in WIA-funded tutoring are often left to their own devices. It can be challenging for them to find the motivation they need for independent study. Tutors do more than provide academic instruction. They also provide much needed:

  • Social support
  • Encouragement
  • Mentoring
  • Problem-solving guidance

Keep youth on track to meet academic goals is an important role for tutors. Good tutors take this responsibility serious. They want students to succeed. Completion of a WIA tutoring program gets students one step closer to being a successful adult.

Educating Homeless Children Must Be a Priority

Homeless students often need additional academic support to meet grade-level proficiency requirements.

More than one million students are now enrolled in public schools across the country. The most recent data from the 2010-2011 school year shows that number represents a 13% increase over the past year. That is a statistically significant change in only 12 months. Perhaps more importantly, it is the highest it has ever been. Of course, this does not take into account the number of homeless children who are not attending school.

Nearly 90% of all states reported increases with 15 experiencing at least a 20% increase. Unfortunately, there were five states that experienced 35% to 47% increases in the number of homeless students. A report from the U.S. Department of Education indicates that overall, homeless students enrolled in school increased by nearly 60% since the economic recession of 2008. Of course, this varies greatly from one school district to another and from state to state. Michigan is one of the hardest hit states, with a 315% increase in homeless students from 2008 to 2011.

Educational Outcomes

Children who are homeless face various educational obstacles. As a result, they tend to lack basic skills and be several grade levels behind peers. Absenteeism rates are high for these students because they are often dealing with illnesses and moving around from one shelter or location to another. Access to resources such as computers is severely limited. Without proper educational intervention, homeless children are likely to be homelessness as adults, turn to prostitution to earn money for food, or become pregnant at an early age.

How McKinney-Vento Helps

Because of this federal law, schools are required to designate a staff person to be the homeless student liaison. The liaison is responsible for making assessments and referrals to help homeless children stay in school. Tutoring is an important service the law provides for to help homeless students bridge gaps in their education. Schools refer students to appropriate services and pay for tutoring sessions.

Tutoring for Homeless Students

Tutors can meet with students at homeless shelters when a designated room is available. Public libraries and community centers also provide ideal tutoring locations. A tutoring service that specifically works with homeless students can help bring them up to the same academic level as their peers.

It is expected the number of homeless children will continue to grow. Tutoring can provide a safety net for students who are homeless but want a better future. Talk to your school liaison today if you need help achieving your academic goals.

Education Rights of Homeless Students

 

It takes special tutors to help homeless students achieve academically. Students may be dealing with anger and fear while trying to learn.

As the number of homeless youth in this country continues to increase, it is imperative we do our part to make sure they receive services that address their basic needs. In addition to food, clothing, and shelter, all children have the right to a free and decent public education.

Understanding McKinney-Vento

The McKinney-Vento Act guarantees homeless children specific education rights. These rights are intended to make it easier for homeless students to access free educational services through the nearest public school system. The Act states they have the right to:

* Stay in the same school regardless of where they live

* Transportation to get to school

* Enroll in school without required records

* Appeal school or district decisions that affect them

By eliminating as many barriers as possible, it should be relatively simple for homeless students to attend school and participate in activities. Of course, that is only true in theory.

In Addition to Rights

Having the right to do something does not mean it is actually possible to do. For this reason, McKinney-Vento provides additional resources to schools so they can help homeless students take advantage of their educational rights. Each school with homeless students enrolled is required to have a liaison that works to identify community resources to help them. One such resource is qualified tutoring services with a track record of successfully improving educational outcomes of homeless students.

Accessing Educational Resources

Matching homeless students to the right tutor is critical. The tutor needs to be compassionate and understanding. It is not uncommon for homeless students to have poor social skills and act out negatively to express their anger and fear over their situation. For many students, their tutor provides a sense of security that is much needed. Because of the risks inherent in their living situation, homeless students are frequently victims of violence and develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can make individual tutoring challenging. Students may feel safer in a small group setting.

Tutoring homeless students requires more than academic knowledge. Tutors need to know how to interact with students who move frequently or possibly live in an abandoned building. Student priorities generally will not be the same as tutor priorities. However, with consistent encouragement, tutors can make a positive difference in the lives of homeless students.

Tutoring for At-Risk Students: What to Expect

Specialized tutoring for at-risk students can help them improve academically while preventing them from dropping out of school.

Various factors determine if a particular student is “at-risk” for academic failure or even dropping out of school. For students who are attending school regularly but continue to struggle academically, tutoring can provide much needed help and support. Tutors help students with homework assignments, suggest ways to improve study skills and organization, and give students a boost in confidence.

Determining Need for a Tutor

Sometimes it is the student’s teacher or guidance counselor that recognizes he might benefit from extra help. At other times, it is the parent who needs other options to engage or motivate their child to do homework or study for tests. Consider the following questions when trying to determine if your child might need tutoring:

  • Does your child have a learning disability or experience emotional problems that interfere with his school days?
  • Does your child talk about dropping out of school?
  • Does your child struggle in a particular subject area or with a specific type of homework assignment?
  • Does your child find it difficult to study for tests?
  • Does your child completing projects on time?
  • Does your child seem anxious about homework assignments or upcoming tests?
  • Does your child constantly fight with me about doing homework or studying?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might want to consider hiring a private tutor for your child.

Choosing the Best Type of Tutoring

Depending on your child’s needs and your schedule, there are several options available to you. Private tutoring is convenient because the tutor can meet with your child at your home or a public place such as a public library or community center. If your child is not comfortable with one-on-one tutoring, online tutoring may prove beneficial. He receives the same quality of tutoring but in the comfort of his own room. Some students do better in a small group setting where they receive instruction along with other students in the same age group or grade level.

Finding the Right Tutor

The tutor you hire should be able to address the issues you and your child are dealing with otherwise she will not be effective as a change agent. If your child has diagnosed learning disabilities, you should only consider tutors who have helped similar students achieve academic success. This is not the time to give a “nice” tutor the chance to help your child. There are professional agencies like Educational Tutorial Services with the expertise to effectively tutor at-risk students.

With help, it is possible to get your at-risk child back on the right academic track. A great tutor provides encouragement and fosters self-confidence in students. Learn more about tutoring opportunities available to you and your child today!